Buffalo Bills' Damar Hamlin in Critical Condition After Collapsing During Game

During the NFL game Jan. 2, Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field. After receiving CPR for more than 10 minutes, he was taken to a nearby hospital, where he remains in critical condition.

By Jamie Blynn Jan 03, 2023 4:27 AMTags
Watch: Buffalo Bills Share Health Update on Damar Hamlin

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin is in critical condition after collapsing during the NFL's Monday night game.

In the first quarter, after tackling Cincinnati Bengals receiver Tee Higgins, the 24-year-old stood up then suddenly collapsed on the field. Medical professionals administered CPR for more than 10 minutes while his teammates, many visibly emotional, surrounded Hamlin. 

"He was then transported to a local hospital where he is in critical condition," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a Jan. 2 statement, noting the then-suspended game would be postponed. "Our thoughts are with Damar and the Buffalo Bills. We will provide more information as it becomes available."

Hours after his shocking collapse, the Bills offered fans an update on what exactly happened. "Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest following a hit in our game versus the Bengals," the team tweeted early on Jan. 3. "His heartbeat was restored on the field and he was transferred to the UC Medical Center for further testing and treatment. He is currently sedated."

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Fans, friends and fellow athletes flooded with an outpouring of support for the University of Pittsburgh alum. "Praying hard.." tweeted Patrick Mahomes, "please be okay man." Added J.J. Watt, "The game is not important. Damar Hamlin's life is important. Please be ok. Please." 

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A sentiment echoed by Baker Mayfield, "Unbelievably sad…. Heart is extremely heavy right now. Prayers for @HamlinIsland his health and the Hamlin Family now. Life is too important. Cherish every moment."

And while, the organization's many teams—from the Miami Dolphins to the Cleveland Browns and more —offered their thoughts on Twitter, Super Bowl champ Ryan Clark spoke from his own experience on the field.

"We forget that part of living this dream is putting your life at risk and tonight we got to see a side of football that is extremely ugly, a side of football that no one ever wants to see or never wants to admit exists," the ESPN commentator said. "When you see both teams on the field crying in that way your first thought is Damar Hamlin the second thought is his family."

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"This isn't about a football player, right? This is about a human," he continued. "This is about a brother. This is about a son. This is about a friend. This is about someone who is loved by so many that you have to watch go through this. It's eye opening. I've dealt with this before. I watched my teammates for days come to my hospital bed and just cry. I had them call me and tell me that they didn't think I wasn't going to make it."

That's the reality he said Hamlin's teammates are now facing. "They have no answers," Clark said on air. "And so the next time that we get upset at our favorite fantasy player or we're upset that the guy on our team doesn't make the play and we're saying, 'He's worthless' and we're saying, 'You get to make all this money,' we should remember that these men are putting their lives on the line to live their dream and tonight Damar Hamlin dream became a nightmare."

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